Monday, December 31, 2012

Longing for yesterday...throwback!

These images were taken 9 years ago.  I took these images at the time to showcase my tresses and how other naturals could incorporate wearing their natural tresses with ready to wear looks.  My husband and I were attending an end of the year company party and the outfit I wore that night was a black tube top jumpsuit with a matching wrap.

After I stumbled across these images I made a vow to myself to get back to the size I was when these images were captured.  I do believe at that time I weighed around 135 lbs and I now currently weigh 145 lbs.  For the past few months I would only exercise to maintain my current weight.  Well, today I'm starting the Julian Michael's 30 day shred and it is with a strong hope that I will see great results at the end of the 30 day exercise program as now my new goal is to gain back my strength and tone of yesterday.  It may take more than 30 days, but it won't be because I didn't give it all that I've got!

I know that you may be thinking gaining 10 lbs over a 9 year period of time is not bad and I too felt this way until I saw my pictures above.  I'm also planning on purchasing a juicer in the near future, so here's to ending this year gracefully and starting off the new year with a healthier frame of mind for a new and improved (and smaller) FRAME!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What's in a package?

If we are too busy being consumed with fulfilling our own heart's desires, we will ultimately neglect the needs of others.  Become part of something larger than yourself.  This is my personal goal for 2013!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Where the green grass grows

"The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's only green where you water it."  Heard this while listening to a song earlier today (Long As You Love Me - JB).  I have heard people say, "the grass is greener on the other side", but what a great comeback response to such tomfoolery!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My New Bootie!

Bruno Magli Agna Black Ankle Boot in Pebble Grain
These were waiting for me under the Christmas tree!  Although these booties are the latest addition to my fashion arsenal, I have many other pieces that I have purchased over the past few months that I can't wait to share with you!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A White Christmas!

 We were awakened this morning to the sound of hard rain and lightening, but look at it now! Wonderful snow!  Just a beautiful and wonderful blanket of snow on Christmas day!
A bird's footprints in the snow found on our doorstep.  
A view of the winter wonderland from our dining room window.  
The beginning stages of the family igloo (not sure if anyone will stay in it) and snow covered foliage. We received a lot of snow today and now the family and I are all bundled up keeping warm.  I hope your Christmas was a blessed one as well.  Merry Christmas and God Bless You!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Little Angels!

What a blessing you can be in someone's life by simply taking the time to care!

For the past year I've been having this feeling of wanting to do more with my life regarding caring for others.  I would have talks with my husband regarding wanting to give back to our community in some way, but didn't quite know where to begin. I thank God for guiding me in this direction as I find that by my actively acting on this desire to help and to be of service to others, I find a since of peace and joy in knowing that I have, in some sort of way, helped make a difference in someone else's life in a positive and encouraging way.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wash Day!

Here in Texas I live in an area that has hard water and since I do not have a water softening system within my home, I wash my strands using heated distilled water.  I'll either wash my hair while bent over my kitchen sink, or I'll take several jugs of heated distilled water and place them on the bench within my shower and wash my strands while taking a shower.   Either method takes a while longer than just washing my strands while in the shower (using hard water), but my end results are well worth it!  I'm able to detangle my strands easier and thus loose a lot less hair. I also experience less shedding in between washings.  Simply put, hard water and my strands don't mix.  My hair always suffers after using hard water to wash and condition my strands and as women (some) get older, they tend to experience thinning hair and I don't plan to help this process along in any way AT ALL!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Half and half!

Half straight and half curly.  This day was my wash day and normally I wash my strands in about four sections, but wanted to capture this image for my post. I'm elated that my curls are back, but I will tell you that in the back of my mind, whenever I wear my hair straight, I worry that my curls won't bounce back on wash day (gotta stop reading horror stories on heat damage).  I put my hair in fat wet twists which will become my staple style during the winter months.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Personalize it!

Personalized Ornaments done at home
Wanted to try something new this year and create my own Christmas tree ornaments.   I used wired ribbons, metallic paint pens and stickers to create my lil' treasures!  Since I can't draw, I also used stencils to paint bells, wreaths, etc... Although I made these for myself, these would make wonderful gifts to give to family and friends and they're quick to make.

I also made ornaments with the names of all of my immediate family members, and after my son's marry and have kids of their own, I will use this same idea to create new ornaments naming the new loved ones that have joined our family to celebrate and show them how much they are loved!
Peace, Love and Joy!
I purchased my items from Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics and Michael's.

Blue Ornaments - Purchased from Walmart and used the smooth textured bulbs only
Red, Gold and Off White Ornaments - Purchased from the Dollar Tree

*Hint* - You can also purchased frosted ornaments from Hobby Lobby to decorate

Paint Pen - Tree House Paint Marker - Hobby Lobby - Love! ($3.47)
Paint Pen - Krylon Pale Gold Leafing Pen - Joann's Fabric - Love! ($4.00 after using save 50% store coupon)
Paint Pen - Krylon Silver Leafing Pen - Joann's Fabric- Love! ($4.00 after using save 50% store coupon)
Wired Ribbon - Gold and Silver spools - Michael's - Love! ($1.99)
Martha Stewart Stencil - Michael's - Not bad, but would probably work better with paint instead of pens - ($4.99).  Also, the ornaments I used were a bit small for the size of these stencils, so it made it difficult to fit the stencil on the ball for a smooth/uniform image.

So give this DIY a try!  I'm sure many of you are great artists and can probably create some new and wonderful designs that you, your family and loved ones will enjoy!

Peace and Blessings!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dutch Crown Braid

Ever since I saw Cat Deeley (SYTYCD) sport a similar style, I had to give it a try!  Her braids were created outward (showing) and my braids were done inward. Although I think it looks okay, I'll revisit this style again the next time I press my strands and created an outward braid.

Here is a link to an article sharing how the stylist created this look for Cat Deeley.  How to Get the Look!
I started braiding at my lower right temple, then took the ends of the loose braid and tucked it into the braid along my forehead.  Again, not bad, but it'll do.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Photo of the day!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pony up front!

Whenever my hair is straightened I love wearing it down and out.  However, as days pass, my strands become weighed down (sebum) and my hair is not as "fluffy/airy" as it was after my initial press.  I love movement when I do. So it is at this time (a few days prior to wash day) I find ways to pin it up, braid it up, pony it up, etc... Looking over past images of my hair, I wanted to give the above braided style a try. This style was created by starting the braid from my side part (right temple) moving along the hair line with the loose braid hanging over my shoulder.  I love it!

The last time I created a style similar to this (images above), I started with creating the braid from the bottom  (below my right ear) braiding along the nape to the left with my loose braid hanging over my shoulder. Same style with just a different starting point.  Love it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Straight talk...

I straighten my strands about 2 - 3 times a year and it is always done during the cooler months. The images above were taken early November (on the 2nd) and today my strands are still worn straight.  I did do a wash after wearing it straight for two weeks, then washed/conditioned and straightened again.  In the images found within this post, I will attempt to describe my method for straightening my strands.  Please know that I am not a professional stylist and in no way is my method a full proof method for straightening one's strands.  I've have been styling my own hair for over 20 years and I have learned, via trial and error, what my hair likes and dislikes.  Know that whenever using heat to style one's strands you run the risk of heat damage, so always proceed with extreme caution!

From the image above you will see that my hair was set in fat twists after my W/C.  I never blow dry my hair prior to straightening. I find that allowing my strands to air dry allows for smoother results when straightening using either my flat iron or pressing comb.
I remove a set of twists, finger comb, then straighten using my flat iron to prepare my strands for my pressing comb.  I create small horizontal parts, flat iron the strands then proceed by making another horizontal part right above the newly straightened hair and flat iron until that section is completed.  After flat ironing each section, I create a single strand twist and use alligator clips to hold into place until my entire head of hair is straightened.

What hair looks like after alligator clips are removed in preparation to use pressing comb.

Hair is divided into five sections and held into place with alligator clips.  I then proceed to use my pressing comb to achieve a smoother press without having to use high heat.  After a few sections have been pressed with the comb I then follow up with my curing iron.

After a section has been curled, I apply Omega Hair oil then I use a magnetic roller to set the curled section while it is still warm. I proceed in this manner until my entire head of hair has been set in the curlers.  I wear it this way for about 30 minutes or more then one by one I remove a curler, create a pin curl, then secure with a clip.  Hair is wrapped overnight with a satin scarf.

Here are the results after pin curls are removed and hair is combed with an extra wide tooth comb.  I'm not one for stick straight hair.  I live in Texas and we like to do things big and that includes my hair!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dickens of a Christmas...In McKinney!

This year's Christmas season has officially begun in our household.  Yesterday my family and I attended the annual premier festival, Dickens of a Christmas, located in the historic downtown McKinney, Texas.  There's food, entertainment and many fun filled activities for everyone in the family.  We ate, we laughed and had an absolute blast!  Click on the link for more information in case you want to visit (Dickens of a Christmas).  The festival ends tomorrow, Sunday, November 25th at 6pm.

One of our stops was at Wild Bill's Old Fashion Root Beer Soda shop.  My men absolutely love drinking root beer and were completely sold on making a purchase once the vendor promised them "unlimited refills" for our entire stay!  My men were also promised that if we visited again on Saturday, they were to just say the magic word and Wild Bill would refill their stainless steel mugs for free!

On top is a family favorite, kettle corn prepared by "Cowtown Kettle Corn.  The best kettle corn EVA!
And below is a picture of a personal favorite roasted corn topped with mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese.  Oh my goodness...just delicious!  We also had jerk chicken from Sadie B. Foods, which was delicious, but wished we had purchased the jerk turkey leg instead as it contained a larger portion of food.  A honorable mention goes to Chef's Kitchen for their gourmet soups and desserts.  May have to visit the festival again tonight just to give this vendor's creations a try as the smell coming from their tent last night was intoxicating.  The only reason we didn't stop by their tent was that we just didn't have any room left after downing all of Wild Bill's root beer!

While walking around downtown we stopped to listen to the music group, The Poor Kings.  They have a sound similar to John Mayer and because I'm a fan of JM's music, this group was a sweet surprise.  We purchased their CD and discovered that their band perform regularly at the local downtown McKinney restaurant, Spoons Cafe, which was another sweet surprise as we do love the sound of this city's local band.

As my family and I continued walking around downtown we discovered that this city came in second as the Best Place To Live in Money Magazine 2012.  I don't doubt it.  The people were friendly, the atmosphere was that of family, friends and of positive energy!  We loved the food and the entertainment and the feel of McKinney being a hometown community.  All of this we experienced while visiting got DH and myself into thinking of McKinney as being a great place to live!  Hmm...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cut it out!

 This past weekend I pressed-n-curled my strands (blog to come this week) and I was asked the question, "Do you trim your ends yourself?"  I answered the question by stating that I trim and cut my own hair.  This question later prompted me to go back and search past images taken after performing major cuts on my tresses.  Man I did a lot of cutting back in the day!  Not sure if I'll do any major cuts anytime soon, but I "will" make attempts to style my tresses in a way to create the illusion of short hair as short hair can be super cute and sexy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Southern living...

Corn and Crab (shrimp) Soup
I grew up in the south  and I love to cook southern dishes.  I have several Southern Living cookbooks that I absolutely cherish and on cold nights this soup is a family favorite that takes only minutes to prepare!

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 pound fresh lump crabmeat, drained ( I use shrimp, but you can also use crawfish tails as well )
1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained ( I use frozen corn )
1/2 teaspoon salt (season to taste)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder ( I use minced garlic seasoned to taste )
1/4 teaspoon pepper ( season to taste )

1) Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until mixture is smooth  Cook 1 minute,
stirring constantly.  Gradually add broth, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Stir in half-and-half and remaining ingredients (make sure seafood is cooked thoroughly before adding); cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 21 minutes



I always double up on this recipe as it is a family favorite and tastes even better the next day!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Please don't tease me!

I've been anxiously awaiting for the cooler temperatures to arrive so that I could begin wearing my most recent fall and winter purchases.  I love fall and early spring seasons.  Earlier on this past week the weather was rather cool, so I grabbed a few pieces and put together the look below.  Needless to say as the week went on, the weather here gradually rose back to the 80's.  That's Texas weather for you!

Scarf - Ross
Top - Spense
Skirt - BCBG Maxazria
Boots - Steve Madden Annnie
Top - Ginger G.
Above, I layered a black top over the ensemble to create a different look.  The Steve Madden boots are 
the same boots I posted here

Two different looks.   You can easily layer your pieces on cooler days to keep warm.
I love wearing scarves and they will be in heavy rotation this fall/winter season.
Well the forecast for next week doesn't show that we will get any cool weather, so I'll have to wait just a little while longer to rock my new pieces.  But until then  have a GREAT weekend!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A polished look!

Fall season has officially begun, however, the weather here in Texas hasn't received the memo!  These past few weeks the days have been rather warm, but the nights are somewhat cool.  This weekend we are in for a cold front...high of 55°F  and a low of 48°F .  I know that you northern girls are probably making a face right about now, but that's cold here in Texas!

In preparation for the upcoming cooler weather I have been busy shopping and preparing my look for the fall and winter seasons and I have found some great pieces and accessories to wear.  To complete my looks I have also been on the hunt for colorful nail polish.  In the past, I did not wear nail polish.  I guess I thought that since I didn't sport long nails, there was no need to use polish to "dress" them up.  Also, I thought only the young girls could get away with wearing the vibrant colors.  Wow, how my thought process has changed within these past few months.  I love wearing nail polish! I feel dainty and more feminine  wearing the pretty colors.  Colors ranging from faint beige to midnight black.   My hands stand out more and my outfits seem to come alive!

The above is my "Believe Beauty Paris" nail polish collection.  I purchased this collection at Ross.   Once I applied a few of the shades, I immediately fell in love!   I then visited several local Ross stores to purchase all that they had!  Here are the colors: Tutu,  Smoky Lilac (my favorite shade from the collection), Cupcake, Sweetheart and Aubergine.

Colorful nail polish is not just for the young girls, we "mature' girls can wear them too!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers!

These have become a family favorite! The recipe calls for green bell peppers, but I have used red, yellow and orange bell peppers as well with much success!  Actually, we love the taste of the red, yellow and orange peppers the best!


1 pound pork sausage (I use hot and sweet Italian sausage)
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 dash garlic salt
4 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, drained
1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
1 (14 ounce) package uncooked instant rice (I use long grain rice here, but switched to brown in later versions)
6 large green bell peppers
1 cup grated Asiago cheese

Above:  In a skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, beef and onion until sausage and beef are evenly brown and onion is tender.  Season with garlic salt.  Drain grease.  Mix in 2 cans diced tomatoes and 1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer 15 minutes.

Prepare the rice according to directions.  Preheat oven to 375°F (190 degrees Celsius).

Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, retaining stems, and remove seeds  Arrange pepper halves in a baking dish, and fill each with about 1/3 cup of cooked rice.  Top with equal amounts of the meat mixture.  Pour remaining meat mixture and remaining 2 cans diced tomatoes around the peppers in the dish.

Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until bubbly.  Top evenly with cheese, and continue baking 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

These boots were made for walking...

and that's just what I'll do!  I'm 5'10" and I still love high heels!  I'm piecing together my fall looks to post and these babies have been added to my collection.

Houndstooth ankle boot by Steve Madden - Annnie
You can purchase them from!  Enjoy!

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